How college students view Meal Prepping while attending college
A college student's life is full of variables. Tackling many classes at once to receive numerous assignments requires an abundance of time, energy, and focus. Finding time to do much else can be a big struggle.
It’s an irrefutable fact that we all must eat. The appeal of cooking and or meal prepping becomes muddled, as students may not have the time required to do so. What many people might consider simple, making and preparing meals can often become overwhelming to college students. Ordering food from restaurants and other fast-food establishments becomes an all too appealing option. Unhealthy lifestyle choices then become commonplace. While looking at the issue from a college student’s perspective; one can see the perceptions, expectations, and concerns college students have.
After taking the opportunity to interview a few college students on Meal Prepping, one can start to see the effects being a college student has on their ability to stay healthy via the foods they eat.
Perceptions Meal Prepping can be very daunting; all the food you must prep and all the planning going into it. The perceptions of college students will kill any attempt to meal prep if they perceive mealprepping negatively.
While doing research, I had the opportunity to interview a few college students to receive their input on the matter. One interview, in particular, stood out the most.
“I don’t want to. It’s so much work. I don’t know what to make and how many ingredients I’ll need to make it” (Mr. Lawson).
The reasons seem all too easy to spot. Convenience! Many would agree that college students face a battle of convenience in their day-to-day. There is no difference when it comes to food. This perception of what Meal Prepping is damaging college students' ability to even want to start Meal Prepping. Meals from Fast Food establishments become evermore enticing. Expectations With perceptions come the inevitable expectations college students have when it comes to meal prepping. While perceptions and expectations can be viewed as interchangeable, for this writing, the two have been kept separate in meaning. For college students, expectations are high, not only on the work they produce but from the school's faculty and more importantly themselves. The expectations of one Ms. Johnson revealed further insights into the discussion of meal prepping. “I expect meal prepping to be having to cook every single night. I feel I would have to make larger meals that last more than one sitting. I only have an hour or so before I must do homework” (Ms. Johnson). Once again, laid out in front of us, the expectations college students have on meal prepping are clear. The overall expectation that I came across during the interviews was, there is only “one” way to do meal prepping for each individual. What meal prepping means to each student can differ but there is usually only one. I’ve learned that there is more than one way to meal prep. It would appear that college students seem to overlook this, which then leads to confusion and misconceptions. Concerns If one is to truly understand why college students are preferring to eat out vs cooking at home and meal prep, one must first understand their concerns. “MONEY. Money adds up over time especially if I’m not sharing costs. How should I properly budget this expense? I would starve rather than spend so much money to eat” (Ms. Lewinsky).
Their concerns are valid. To keep costs low, one must understand how to budget this expense in the first place. The knowledge of how much different foods cost and how to manage that cost is vital. How can we help? By understanding “college students” needs and concerns, one can start to see what needs to be done. Students need to be better versed in the mundane. How do groceries work? What options do I have? How can I keep my costs down? How can I manage time to better suit me? After the fundamental aspects of food knowledge are attained, implementing tricks to keep to a schedule and plan when it comes to food will be more effective and helpful in the long run.